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Since there are several published authors on my friends’ list, it might be considered showing favoritism, or WORSE, currying favor if I were to include their books in my Top Ten Best Books List for 2005.

If, for example, I were to say that I laughed myself silly at lisayee’s Millicent Min and Stanford Wong books, or got chills when I read the last line of castellucci’s forthcoming Queen of Cool, or ached to write a book as affecting as marypearson’s A Room on Lorelei Street, etc. … one might question my intentions.



Fiction – All genres

East of Eden – John Steinbeck
Oooh, loved it! Big and meaty and SUCH a portrait of pure evil in female form! It is appalling that I had never read it before.

Al Capone Does My Shirts – Jennifer Choldenko
I’ve always been fascinated by Alcatraz, so this book was perfect for me. I loved the 12-year-old boy narrator.

The Misadventures of Maude March – Audrey Couloumbis
A rip-roaring Old West adventure about two girls thrust into a life on the run. I didn’t want it to end.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky
The voice is what seduces you in this book. Pure and artless.

I Am the Messenger – Markus Zusak
Funny and thought-provoking. Zusak was brave to craft the ending the way he did. I couldn’t have done it.

Inexcusable – Chris Lynch
Sucked me in and made me want to believe.

Cal – Bernard MacLaverty
Set in Northern Ireland during The Troubles. I kept trying to write a description of this book, and it kept sounding pedestrian. It’s not. It’s almost Shakespearean. Read it.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – J.K. Rowling
Of course. I’m a fan. Rowling just gets better with every book.

The Garden Angel - Mindy Friddle
A once-grand Southern home falling into disrepair … a family cemetery in the back yard … quirky characters … love and betrayal … Emily Dickinson … delicious!

Inside Out - Terry Trueman
A teenage schizophrenic gets held hostage (along with several other people) when a robbery goes wrong. Darkly funny, as in this paraphrased excerpt:

I wonder if they’re going to shoot us. Like in that movie “Pulp Fiction.” The bad guys shoot lots of people in that movie. I’m definitely NOT going to ask them about “Pulp Fiction” or about shooting us. I don’t want to give them any bad ideas.

I don’t even want to think about getting shot, and so I try to be real quiet.

[…]

After whispering together, one of the guys says, “Okay, everybody, we’ve got an announcement.”

Before he can say anything else, I hear words flying out of my mouth: “Did you ever see that movie ‘Pulp Fiction?’”



Non-Fiction

Stiff, The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers – Mary Roach
I’ve read this before, but I dove into it again before writing my YA. I think the title says it all. Humans are fascinating … dead or alive.

Waiting for Birdy, A Year of Frantic Tedium, Neurotic Angst, and the Wild Magic of Growing a Family – Catherine Newman
Full of laugh-out-loud-and-weep-a-minute-later stuff.

Plan B, Further Thoughts on Faith – Anne Lamott
I’m not religious … but I love Annie’s take on everything, so I’ll follow her even into faith.

The Abrams Encyclopedia of Photography
My main character takes a photography class, so I did a lot of research. This book is a treasure trove of photo history, not to mention the black-and-white jewels on every page.

You’re right.

It’s fourteen, not ten.

Take pity on the poor, thin, non-fiction category. Let them stay!


Other Flotsam and Minutiae from My Review of 2005:


Died Too Young
Guitarist Chris Whitley. 45 years old. Lung cancer.


My Town Rules for Reading
For the third year in a row, our Multnomah County Library system had the highest circulation of all libraries in the U.S. In 2004-05, residents checked out 19.4 million books … which breaks down to 28.4 books for every man, woman, and child in the county.


Most Fun Had With My Family
Trip to Hawaii in March for sister’s wedding and generalized abuse by sister extended family members. Kona coffee on the lanai … snorkeling in the warm water … sand between my toes … time (post-wedding) to relax …


Most Fun Had Without My Family
No question: the trip to Vegas to reunite with my girlfriends and the serendipitous windfall of TWO U2 concerts.


Straining My Arm to Pat My Own Back
I wrote an entire YA book this year. I like it! Now we’ll see if anyone else does.


Why I Like My LiveJournal Peeps
No one gets their feelings hurt when I go quiet for periods of time, like flesh-friends do. Seems like someone is always “around” when I post, no matter what the time. It feels like a free subscription to a magazine full of funny and creative columnists. It’s gratifying to feel that my words are being read and possibly enjoyed, as well. I get to live vicariously through the travels and experiences of the people in my community.


A Case of Poetic Justice that Makes Me Laugh Hard Every Time I Think of It
Tom DeLay. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!


A Thing to Rectify in 2006
Netflix “The Gilmore Girls” and see what all the fuss is about.


Things That Keep Me Going, Year After Year, Aside from the Usual Friends and Family
Red Rose tea … flirting … pre-dawn walks … coffee … mosaic tiles laid into wet concrete to make something functional and lovely … piano … digging in the dirt … listening to kids and babies laugh … writing, always writing …

Comments

( 11 inscriptions — Inscribe a note )
(Deleted comment)
lkmadigan
Jan. 1st, 2006 04:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks.

How did The Outfit work out?
(Deleted comment)
lkmadigan
Jan. 2nd, 2006 04:18 am (UTC)
That's hot. (copyright pending)
rusalkatrix
Dec. 31st, 2005 09:16 pm (UTC)
Great list. I keep thinking I should do an end-of-the-year post, but I haven't made up my mind yet. I am the laziest poster ever.

Have you read Terry Trueman's other books? I haven't read Inside Out, but I read the other two. Stuck in Neutral was definitely thought-provoking (and far better than the sequel/companion book).

P.S. Your library system kicks ass. I used to live in the county whose library system was in the process of whooping yours, but I guess Multnomah won this year. :) Now my library system is kind of . . . ehn.
lkmadigan
Jan. 1st, 2006 04:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks.

Haven't read the other Terry Truemans. I'll look for Stuck in Neutral.

My library thanks you for the compliments, and resolves to keep kicking ass!
c_larkins
Dec. 31st, 2005 09:46 pm (UTC)
Love your lists. Jotted down a few titles to look for at our local (but very small library.) Thanks!
lkmadigan
Jan. 1st, 2006 04:18 pm (UTC)
Good - I hope you like my recs.

Happy New Year!
susanwrites
Jan. 1st, 2006 10:13 pm (UTC)
Oh boy, the pressure is getting to me. I really need to make a list of my own.

Happy New Year!!!
beachalatte
Jan. 2nd, 2006 01:28 am (UTC)
Love your list!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :))
lkmadigan
Jan. 2nd, 2006 04:18 am (UTC)
Why, thank you! Goodness knows, I love to make lists.
lori_ann_v
Jan. 3rd, 2006 02:56 am (UTC)
Test
Hey Monique
Just making sure this thing works.
I loved your Santa story -- glad your dear son likes the guitar.

lisayee
Jan. 7th, 2006 07:27 am (UTC)
Thanks for the mention!
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